Modifying A Divorce Agreement
After your divorce is finalized, certain situations may result in a need to modify the divorce agreement, including a change in financial situations, for example.
In all divorce cases, an effort is made to create an agreement that is sensible and fair to everyone involved. Child custody, asset distribution, and spousal support are determined after careful consideration. You may think that modifying a divorce agreement is impossible, and while the process is difficult, a dramatic turn of events can warrant the adjustment of certain aspects of the arrangement. Perhaps you have recently lost your job, or maybe it was discovered that certain assets belong to you through inheritance. The Pittsburgh divorce lawyers at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC know how these agreements work and how they can be altered. When an order needs to be modified, one spouse may object, making the process much more difficult, but attorney Anthony Piccirilli will guide you through the process, ensuring your case is presented in the best possible light.
Call (412) 471-5100 today to see how your divorce agreement can be modified.
Why Modify A Divorce Agreement?
Whether they are drafted by a judge or a lawyer, divorce arrangements are only finalized after careful consideration. As a result, most courts are not in the habit of frequently modifying the terms of these arrangements. A divorce agreement can only be modified if there has been a substantial change, referred to as a material change in circumstance. When an alteration is being sought, the burden of proof lies with the party seeking the modification. First, they must prove that a change in circumstance has occurred. From there, evidence must be provided that supports the arrangement being altered.
Changes in circumstances that might warrant a divorce agreement being modified include, but are not limited to:
- One spouse has obtained a job with a much higher income
- One spouse has lost their job for whatever reason
- It can be proven that spousal support funds are being spent on illegal substances
- The emergence of information that proves that an asset is an item of inheritance
- A spouse is suffering from a physical illness or mental condition
Filing a Complaint
Once you are confident that you can establish grounds for modifying your divorce agreement, you must file a petition with the court that finalized your original arrangement. After this document has been submitted, you must inform your ex that the case has been reopened. This can be done either in person or through the mail. At this point, the case will progress in a way that was similar to the original divorce. If both spouses can agree that the arrangement should be modified, the case does not need to involve a hearing. If on the other hand, one spouse is opposed to the changes, both parties must appear before a judge. Here, both parties will attempt to convince the court that the changes are either warranted or unjustified. The changes may be approved shortly after. If they are not, the petitioning spouse may be fined for wasting the court’s time.
Contact Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC Today
If you are attempting to modify your divorce agreement, it can feel overwhelming. After all, you only want an arrangement that accurately reflects the dramatic changes that have occurred since the divorce was finalized. The Pittsburgh divorce lawyers at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC understand that situations change in people’s lives and we are here to help. You may not know where to begin when it comes to proving that your arrangement should be changed. Attorney Anthony Piccirilli can coordinate the meetings between you and your spouse and will strive to ensure that any changes to your divorce agreement are reasonable and reflect your current circumstances.